From the fun and humorous to the deep and informative, content is a powerful and wide-ranging form of digital marketing. Each type of content marketing can be used to engage with, relate to, and build a relationship with your target audience.
The overall aim of the game is to boost brand awareness and connect with your market, laying down the foundation for you to convert potential customers into paying ones. You can do this through a number of ways, including:
- Blog content, white papers and checklists
- Video content and email marketing
- Infographics, e-books and how-to guides
- Case studies and testimonials or reviews
- Social media and user-generated content
Ensure you’re maximising your marketing’s potential by choosing the right type of content, in the right place, at the right time for your audience. Here, we explore some of the most effective types depending on your objectives.
1. Blog content
Blogging is an effective tool for breaking down the barrier between you and your audience. It creates room for a more conversational tone compared to other forms of content marketing, which is a great way of making your brand stand out.
An article can also build reputation through expertise or even get a giggle out of a prospective customer. Not to mention that consistent, regular and original blog content is also great for ranking higher on search engines.
2. Video content
Like blogs, video content can vary from being informative to entertaining to interactive, and if it’s done well, then it can be all three! When you’re in the frame, you have the opportunity to show off your personality and the people behind your brand – as well as how you work, the things you produce or what you stand for.
Social media is an ideal platform to place content like this, but embedding a video in your home page or one of your landing pages can be equally effective. Here, they have the power to engage your visitors immediately, encouraging them to explore the rest of your site.
Infographics create a chance to provide industry knowledge and demonstrate value in a split second. They’re also typically much more eye-catching and direct than other written forms of content.
Different content formats will suit different members of the same target audience, too, so it’s important to play the field and accommodate those who prefer their information in a more visual way.
4. White papers
Of course, short, sharp flashes of content aren’t enough for everyone. Some people want complexity and depth, they want detailed solutions to an industry problem… they want white papers.
This type of long-form content can demonstrate expertise and build authority like no other. You can use it to present your own market research or just to curate the thoughts of others on a certain topic.
5. Case studies
The value that your business can provide to customers may be clear to you. But for many people, seeing is believing.
Case studies paint a vivid picture of your products or services with real examples of when, and more importantly how, they have been used in action. So if you’re looking to build trust between you and your audience, put your money where your mouth is and tell a few of your success stories.
6. Testimonials and reviews
Not got enough time (or things to say) for a full case study? Make sure you’re regularly pushing out new reviews or testimonials instead.
Receiving positive feedback from a satisfied customer is a wonderful thing, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there! If it’s a detailed review gushing over your brand, why not share it to social media? If it’s a snappy one-liner singing your praises, then use it to decorate your landing pages. A quick testimonial (like the ones on our site!) can be a simple but effective alternative to case studies.
7. Social media content
An active social media presence can no longer be ignored in any business’ marketing efforts. Engaging content across these platforms doesn’t just promote your brand – it also sparks direct interaction and communication with potential customers.
Your audience’s main digital presence is likely to be their social media pages, so get in amongst them and start posting. Over time, you’ll learn about their behaviours and opinions, as well as which content they like to see, to further aid your strategy.
8. User-generated content
Being present on social media also opens the door to user-generated content. This type of content is free, authentic, credible, and almost guaranteed to engage your audience.
Why? Because it’s created by them! Interacting with your target market’s content makes them feel like their opinion matters and that your business cares. It’s the most cost-effective reputation-builder by far.
9. Influencer partnerships
An industry influencer endorsing your product or service can be a major boost for your brand. Influencers often have the reach and social media know-how to hit audiences that you didn’t know existed.
What’s more, a little further along in your target customer’s journey, seeing your product on their favourite influencer’s page could be the validation they need to make a purchase. It’s like reading a review from a trusted friend.
10. Paid ad content
Paid ads, such as Google and Facebook ads, are similarly effective at driving traffic and nurturing leads. And what separates this form of content from the rest is their ability to be more easily measured.
You can track your ad performance by keeping tabs on your cost per number of impressions (people who have seen your ad) or clicks, as well as the revenue that each ad has generated.
11. Email marketing
Emails have been a stalwart of marketing campaigns for almost as long as they have existed. They’re an ideal space for direct customer contact, influencing purchasing decisions and persuading your audience into making an action.
Inbox folders can be a crowded place though, so ensure your email stands out and gets to the point before it becomes junk! Test out various subject lines and email designs to see what works best.
Checklists are a quick and reliable way of demonstrating expertise and providing value to your target audience. Maybe a potential customer is coming to you for guidance during their busy work schedule; a checklist can provide that useful industry knowledge they’re looking for in a bite-size format.
This content type is a great place for your ‘10 quick and dirty tips’ or ‘15 steps to getting set up’. And who knows? Their positive experience might just mean they return on the weekend to read your blog!
13. How-to guides
Does your target market show a need for your products or services but requires a better understanding before committing? How-to guides are an effective type of content marketing which can provide step-by-step instructions relating to you and your industry.
These might sit well on a flow of Instagram stories if they’re short and aesthetically pleasing, or within your website. The result is the same: a useful insight that might just swing a customer your way.
So, how do you choose the right content type for your audience? Dig out your USP, visualise each method, and play to your strengths. Anticipating where your customers are most active can help to filter your options further.